(Tel Aviv) Thousands of people demonstrate in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening as the ceremony begins in Jerusalem to mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.
Gathered at the place where for four months Israelis have been demonstrating every week against the justice reform wanted by the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, considered anti-democratic by its detractors, the demonstrators called for an “independence day”, according to an AFP journalist.
Waving Israeli flags, they chanted the slogan “democracy” before popular singers enlivened this evening which was intended to be festive, like other cities in the country where stages were set up with free concerts in the streets.
In a speech broadcast on a giant screen at the start of the ceremony in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for unity.
“Only united we can achieve our goals…to be united is to know that we have one people and one state and we have not and will have no other land,” he said. affirmed.
The ceremony that opens the festivities went off without incident, despite fears that anti-reform campaigners would disrupt it.
Supporters of the reform have meanwhile planned to gather Thursday evening in front of the Knesset (Parliament).
Since the announcement of the reform project in early January, tens of thousands of Israelis have gathered every week to denounce the text and shout down the government formed in December by Mr. Netanyahu.
The latter announced on March 27 a legislative “pause” to give a “chance […] to dialogue”, after an intensification of the protest, the start of a general strike and the appearance of tensions within the majority, but the mobilization against the reform remains strong.
For the government, the text aims, among other things, to rebalance powers by reducing the prerogatives of the Supreme Court, which the executive considers politicized, for the benefit of Parliament.
Critics of the reform believe, on the contrary, that it risks opening the way to an illiberal or authoritarian drift.